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From the Spring 2012 Conservationist for Kids

Four kids hold up bunches of garlic mustard that they have pulled

People Helping Wildlife

How will you help wildlife and the spaces that are home to them?

By Gina Jack

If left alone, habitats will change over time. Some species may disappear if their habitat changes a lot-or vanishes altogether-and they have nowhere else to go. People can help wildlife by taking good care of all the different kinds of habitat.

A logging truck picks up a log from a pile
Timber harvest

Biologists and foresters work together to manage habitat to make it more suitable for particular wildlife species. They observe what happens to wildlife in good quality habitats and try to create the same conditions elsewhere, mimicking nature. They also help landowners make wise choices about how to care for their land for the benefit of wildlife.

How will you help wildlife and the spaces that are home to them?

Responsible timber management

Timber management can return succession to an earlier stage and ensure a healthy forest habitat for a wide range of species. Healthy forests feature trees of varying ages and are able to fend off pests and diseases.

Invasive wildlife or plants

A group of students holding up bunches of garlic mustard that they have pulled out.
Pulling garlic mustard

Unwelcome wildlife or plants, especially invasive ones, may be removed to preserve habitat. Garlic mustard and purple loosestrife crowd out native plants and are not good food sources for native wildlife.

Prescribed burns

A prescribed burn in a field in progress

Prescribed burns are sometimes used to maintain habitat. These fires are set on purpose and supervised from start to finish by professionals. Fires are one technique used to maintain the habitat of the endangered Karner blue butterfly.

Biologists, foresters and others who help

Two people standing in a field of tall grass

Biologists, foresters, farmers and other private land owners, work together to maintain grasslands, wetlands, forests and other habitats across New York State.

New Yorkers who enjoy the outdoors can support the improvement of wildlife habitat and access for outdoor recreation by purchasing a $5 Habitat & Access Stamp.

Photo: (above top) Volunteers display handfulls of garlic mustard they have pulled out.